Further delays for Leeds Clean Air Zone

Further delays for Leeds Clean Air Zone

Leeds City Council has postponed the introduction of its CAZ until “at least July 2020”.

Originally planned to go live in January 2020, the zone's launch was postponed in June because of delays to essential government systems required for its operation. Since then the zone's final launch date is still being determined. However, the council has confirmed that it will not be any earlier than July 2020.

The council said it has received thousands of applications from businesses and begun to distribute £23 million of funding from the government to help operators of affected vehicles with the costs of switching to cleaner models that won't be charged.

The council is due to meet next week to discuss new proposals for exemptions and future emissions standards that have been developed in consultation with affected operators. Under the new proposals vehicles meeting CAZ standards within 12 months of the zone's launch would be protected from future changes to the CAZ standards for the licensable lifetime of their vehicle.

Councillors will also discuss a new proposal designed to support a number of specialist heavy goods vehicles operators unable to retrofit or affordably upgrade their vehicles. This proposal would exempt specialist HGVs if they cannot be retrofitted or upgraded for less than £200,000; operate for no more than three working hours per day within the zone; and are classified as either low loader, breakdown truck or special purpose tax classes.

Councillor James Lewis, executive member with responsibility for air quality at Leeds City Council, said: "Helping owners of affected vehicles switch to less polluting models that won't be charged is the best way to support local business. It's also the best way to improve air quality in Leeds before the charging zone's introduction.

"I strongly encourage every affected business to visit our website today and find out more about what they need to do to prepare for the zone and explore financial support available".

Businesses can find out more about the Clean Air Zone, including information on exemptions and financial support, by visiting www.leeds.gov.uk/cleanairzone.